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In the Garage
MG TF
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32,851 Posts
The tyre size difference was made to make the car handle more like a front will drive car and make it less likely to tramline in ruts left by HGV's. If going to the same size tyres then the rear size is often used, the caveat applies that if you don't tell your insurance the insurance could be invalid.
 

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mgf
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162 Posts
I used to know why they were different sizes, something to do with a slight rubbing on the front when on full lock, but my memory's rubbish these days. No doubt one of the more agile minded bods will tell us.
I still have the 215's on the rear.
Staggered tyre sizes are to help the car drive with understeer. If you change the fronts to the same size as the rear you can and will induce oversteer. Oversteer is preferred for competition and I run 215/45 all round for the road. I run 225/45 R888R's on racedays. Oversteer on a mid-engine car will give snap oversteer with little or no warning. So in competition you can push, push, push and oh dear, gone! I used Toyo R1R's on the road but they are no longer available here. I have tried to get T1-R's but they are also unavailable. And now with the pandemic tyre choice and stock are going to be terrible. On F1 and GT3/4 cars, they stagger the tyre size to reduce drag and add front downforce.
 

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mg_tf
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81 Posts
I have the same size tyre all round. 215/40R16 front and back. The original size fronts were 195/45R16 but I decided to fit the same size as the rear. The wider tyre does not rub or foul anything at the front. Slightly heavier feel due to the wider tyre, but I prefer the feel and look of the wider tyres.
 

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22 Posts
I've had three different size tyres on my F. It came with 205/50/16 Falkens and these were too big - avoid this size. Caught on the front wheelarch lips and bent them, wore holes in the wheel arch liners. No interference on the back and I went to 195/45/16s on the front while the 205s were still on the back. This made for an understeering car, but plenty of clearance. Also with 195 the rim stuck out beyond the sidewall - easy to scrape on the kerb.

Later went to 215/40/16 all round and these will just touch the front wheel arch liners on full lock - acceptable. Handling is neutral in road driving - I don't do track days. If I provoke oversteer the car recovers itself as soon as I let it. It tramlines a bit, not enough to annoy.

Sadly in Australia they no longer import Falkens in that size - apparently only the MGF and a Mazda sporty hatch take that size so the demand is small. Only brand I can find is Nankang. Chinese made, they grip about as well as the Falkens but have a tiny bit of squirm as you turn into the corner. I've become used to this but would def. use Falkens if I could get them.

David
 
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